Please explain the grammar

Status
Not open for further replies.

gauri_agr

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2010
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Hindi
Home Country
India
Current Location
United States
I am reading novel and come across the following sentence


he would be reading a book the moment he died

Its about a person who is fond of books so I understand the sense but not the grammar. Is it like if clause as


he would be reading a book if he died?

Thanks
Gauri
 

Raymott

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Australia
I am reading novel and come across the following sentence


he would be reading a book the moment he died

Its about a person who is fond of books so I understand the sense but not the grammar. Is it like if clause as


he would be reading a book if he died?

Thanks
Gauri
It's a common construction in biographies. It's used when you are looking forward from a time in the past. Someone is telling his story, but hasn't come to his death yet. But they want to say something about it now.
For example:
"On his arrival at university, he discovered the pleasures of reading. In fact, he would be reading a book the moment he died."
You know he was reading a book when he died, but from the viewpoint of the story, it's in the future.
ENGLISH PAGE - Future in the Past

In a biography of Obama, for example, you might read, "He was patriotic even as a little boy. But no one could foresee that he would be running for President in 2007"
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top